Summary: Asia is home to some of the most beautiful backdrops and landscapes you’re going to encounter, anywhere in the world. The natural beauty is unmatched.
However, Asia is currently under siege by the local governments who are looking to lock down the internet and prevent their citizens from accessing certain types of content.
If you are currently living in, or traveling to Asia, and have found that your access to certain types of websites has been blocked, you’re probably frustrated and looking for solutions.
Bypassing these localized content restrictions is easy when you connect to the internet through your internet service provider, and then use a Virtual Private Network service.
Virtual Private Network, or VPN, services help you hide your original location so servers that are required to block your access because you’re located in Asia cannot tell where you’re from.
Hiding your original location and encrypting the information you send and receive online makes it possible to bypass these restrictions and access your favorite websites while in Asia.
To keep yourself safe and secure and bypass location-based content restrictions with ExpressVPN, click here now.
Table of Contents
- Best VPN for Asia
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Testing Methodology
- How We Tested Each VPN Service
- VPN Services You Should Avoid
- VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
- VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
- Top 3 VPNs for Asia
- Wrapping It Up
Why You Should Trust Us
At SecureThoughts, we have gathered some of the best internet technology and security experts who research different services and write about the results of their tests.
Our primary goal is to help every one of our readers with problems they’re facing when they connect to the internet, and maintaining a large database of different VPN services and their ratings.
In 2017, we have found that there are currently 173 different VPN services available and they all make claims that they are the best in the industry.
We want to ensure our readers do not waste money while trying to protect themselves online, so we are going to compare and eliminate different services, to find the best VPN for Asia.
How We Tested Each VPN Service
To help ensure you can find the best VPN service for bypassing localized content restrictions in Asia, we have tested 173 different VPN services using a 3-part elimination process.
To skip the methodology and go straight to our recommendations, click here now.
Our elimination process started by immediately removing any service on our list that is either an active participant or is forced to participate in invasive surveillance programs.
We then removed any service from our list that does not offer the features we believe Asian citizens require when they’re trying to protect themselves while connected to the internet.
We have also utilized third-party websites that consolidate reviews from past and current customers to help eliminate any VPN service that has a poor reputation in the industry.
Finally, services that remained through previous elimination steps have been compared against each other using 5 criteria that allow us to objectively determine which VPN service is best for Asia.
Those criteria are:
Price – Pricing is one of the most important factors to consider because some of the most expensive services aren’t always best and some of the cheapest services aren’t always the worst.
Setup Process – We verified that the software included with your subscription to each VPN service is simple to setup and configure to establish a connection to their network.
Ease of Use – We then verified that establishing a connection to their network and maintaining that connection is easy to do and doesn’t require customer service assistance.
Speed – We also utilized servers in three different parts of the world to run speed tests for each service and find the average speed results.
Customer Service – We contacted each service’s customer support department on three separate occasions to determine how helpful they are and how quickly they respond.
Below are the results we’ve found during our elimination and review process.
VPN Services You Should Avoid
Whenever you’re connecting to the internet in Asia, the last thing you want to deal with is a VPN service that is tracking your activity.
Every day, more VPN services are being forced to participate in invasive surveillance programs, that are commonly referred to as “14 Eyes”.
The 14 Eyes program is an agreement between different governments that forces any internet service provider located in their country to monitor their user’s activity.
While performing our initial research, we have found that 123 of the original 173 services are either active participants, or forced to participate in 14 Eyes, and have been eliminated from our list.
VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
As our elimination process moves onward, we are going to be eliminating services that do not offer the features we believe Asian citizens require from a Virtual Private Network.
Each of the features that we are looking for will be covered, and examples of the services that have been eliminated from our list will be given.
Criteria #1: OpenVPN Support
Whenever you establish a connection to the internet or your Virtual Private Network service, they are going to use a specific protocol to manage your connection.
When it comes to anonymity online and ensuring your connection is secure, OpenVPN is one of the best protocols available, and we’ve eliminated services that do not support it.
Betternet and AnonVPN are two of the services we have eliminated from being eligible for our recommendation because they do not support the OpenVPN protocol.
Criteria #2: Unlimited Bandwidth & Data Transfer
Any time you connect to the internet, browse through web pages, check your email, download files, or watch videos, you are consuming bandwidth that’s typically being tracked.
Any VPN service that monitors the amount of bandwidth you’re using to limit your account access or throttle your connection speeds for excessive consumption have been eliminated.
Cloak and Celo are two examples of VPN services that we have eliminated from being eligible for our recommendation because they have bandwidth limiting policies.
Criteria #3: No Data Logging Policies
At SecureThoughts, we believe any type of data logging and network activity monitoring policies are invasive and prevent you from remaining completely secure and anonymous online.
Any VPN service that tracks your activity, even if it’s for harmless reasons like diagnosing issues with their network, has been eliminated from being eligible to receive our recommendation.
Hola!VPN and Seed4Me are two VPN services that will monitor your network activity that we have eliminated from our list of eligible services.
Criteria #4: Support for Multiple Operating Systems
If you own more than one device that connects to the internet, you’re going to need a Virtual Private Network service that supports the operating systems each device is built on.
Any VPN service that provides software with your subscription that is buggy or incompatible with most major operating systems has been eliminated from being eligible for our recommendation.
IntelliVPN and SunVPN are two of the services that have been eliminated because their software has proven to be incompatible with most major operating systems.
Criteria #5: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections
If you own multiple devices that you connect to the internet with, you’re also going to need a Virtual Private Network service that allows you to protect each, and every one of them.
Any VPN service that does not allow you to establish multiple active connections to their servers has been eliminated from being eligible for our recommendation.
IBVPN and HotVPN are two of the services that we’ve eliminated because they do not allow you to connect every device you own to their network at the same time.
Criteria #6: Free-Trials, Refunds, and Money-Back Guarantee
We want to ensure that our readers are safe from poor performing services, especially when they are taking a recommendation that we have made.
To ensure that you are not wasting your money by subscribing to a service that doesn’t perform for you the way it did for us, we’ve eliminated services that do not offer refunds or free trials.
VPN Shield and VPNBaron are two of the VPN services we have eliminated from our list because they do not offer their subscribers these protections.
Criteria #7: No Peer2Peer Blocking
Whenever you are downloading large files or using other technologies that utilize Peer2Peer networks to help lessen the load on their servers, you could encounter issues with some VPN services.
Any VPN service that makes it impossible for you to utilize Peer2Peer technology or filesharing networks has been eliminated from being eligible for our recommendation.
LibertyVPN and VPNJack are two of the VPN services we have eliminated from our list because they block Peer2Peer filesharing technologies.
Criteria #8: No Mandatory SMTP Blocking
Some Virtual Private Network services will block your ability to send and receive emails while you are connected to their network because spammers have abused the privilege in the past.
Any VPN service that prevents you from sending and receiving emails while you are connected to their network has been eliminated from being eligible for our recommendation.
TorVPN and Tunnelbear are two of the VPN services we have eliminated because they block SMTP access and do not allow you to send and receive emails through their servers.
VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
To help dwindle down our list of eligible VPN services, we have also utilized third-party websites that allow past and current subscribers to leave feedback and reviews of their experience.
Any Virtual Private Network service that has consistently received negative reviews and poor feedback has been eliminated from being eligible for our recommendation.
Top 3 VPNs for Asia
Through extensive eliminations and verifying the quality of services on our list, we have dwindled the original list of 173 services down to a total of 3.
Each of the remaining three services will be reviewed based on five criteria:
- Setup Process
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
Each of the remaining 3 services have been compared against each other to help us objectively determine that 1 service has secured our recommendation as the best VPN for Asia.
#1 ExpressVPN (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service for Asia
If you are looking for the absolute best VPN service when you’re living in or travelling to Asia, ExpressVPN has proven themselves and claimed our top spot.
To start, ExpressVPN offers competitive pricing packages, being low enough to remain attractive to a large portion of the industry, while still charging enough to ensure they can continue their network development and provide a great customer experience.
The software that is included with your ExpressVPN shows the dedication that ExpressVPN devotes to providing great service. It was compatible the systems we tested it on, and helped us establish a connection to their network within minutes after subscribing.
While performing speed tests on the ExpressVPN network through servers in the United States and the United Kingdom, ExpressVPN easily secured the #1 spot for fastest speeds and reliability.
The customer support team at ExpressVPN is helpful and responsive, and they responded to most of the requests that we submitted to them within 60 minutes.
ExpressVPN impressed us during testing, but that doesn’t mean they are a perfect service. We do believe there are areas that could be improved to help secure them as the top recommendation in the future.
Their customer support team was responsive in most cases, though there was one instance where we waited up to 3 hours for a response to a question we submitted to them.
We also noticed that connection speeds on the ExpressVPN network when tested through servers in Australia were slightly slower than through servers in the U.S. and the U.K.
Summary: Even though Asia is cracking down on their surveillance and restriction programs, there are ways to bypass these programs if you live in or are traveling to Asia.
We have found that ExpressVPN is currently the best VPN service available for Asian citizens and tourists looking to bypass content restrictions and invasive surveillance programs.
To protect yourself in Asia with ExpressVPN, click here now.
#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t Available for You
Even though we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure our results are accurate, we do understand that some of our readers could have problems getting an account with ExpressVPN.
If you have found that ExpressVPN either isn’t available for you, or isn’t compatible with the hardware and software you’re using, you may find IPVanish to be a suitable alternative solution.
IPVanish has some of the most aggressive pricing we’ve seen, charging less than $5 per month whenever you subscribe for 12 months at a time.
The IPVanish software didn’t cause any issues for us during testing, and we used it to establish a connection to their network within 10 minutes after subscribing to their service.
We submitted multiple requests to the IPVanish customer support team and received helpful responses, though it took longer than the team at ExpressVPN. On average, we waited 3 hours for a response.
We put their servers through heavy loads to test their average connection speeds and the reliability of their connections, and found they offered the 2nd fasted speeds in the U.S. and the U.K.
Like ExpressVPN, IPVanish also showed areas we believe could be improved to not only improve their customer’s experience, but possibly secure them a higher spot in our review in the future.
On one occasion, we attempted to contact their customer support team about issues that we were having and waited up to 8 hours to receive a response.
During speed tests through Australian-based servers, IPVanish did show signs of slowing down. Though they didn’t become unreliable, the speeds were slower in Australia than we liked.
Summary: ExpressVPN is currently the best VPN service that’s available for Asian citizens and travelers, but we do understand they may not be available for every person reading this.
We’ve put the IPVanish service through rigorous testing, and found that they do offer a reliable network, acceptable connection speeds, and a helpful customer support team.
If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.
#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) (Not Recommended)
While we’ve featured HideMyAss as the #3 spot on our list, their ranking does not necessarily mean we are recommending them to our readers as a viable VPN service.
While testing the HideMyAss service, we experienced significant issues ranging from connection quality and speeds, and longer-than-usual customer service response times.
There was one area while testing HideMyAss that they set the bar, and raised our expectations for how the remainder of the tests would go.
The software that HideMyAss provides for you to establish a connection to their network didn’t present many problems for us, but once connected to their servers the problems began.
As far as pricing, HideMyAss is one of the most expensive services that made it onto our list, charging nearly $17.00 per month for a subscription to their network.
We tested their servers in different parts of the world to verify their average connection speeds and reliability, and found it difficult to obtain accurate results due to dropped connections.
We attempted to contact their customer service team for help with the issues we were having, and waited more than 24 hours to receive responses to the requests.
Summary: Whenever you are trying to bypass content restrictions and invasive surveillance programs while you’re living in or traveling to Asia, there are better services available than HideMyAss.
We have found that their network isn’t as reliable as ExpressVPN’s, and their customer service response times are far slower than what ExpressVPN provides.
If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.
Wrapping It Up
Whenever you live in Asia or are planning on traveling to Asia, you could find yourself facing harsh content restrictions and invasive surveillance and monitoring programs.
If you want to remain anonymous while you’re connected to the internet in Asia, you will need to connect through a Virtual Private Network service.
After working through more than 170 different VPN services, we have found that ExpressVPN offers the best value-based pricing, fastest and most reliable network, and most helpful, responsive customer service team.
To learn more about ExpressVPN and protect yourself in Asia, click here now.